Is medicine the best option for me? Watch

xxNoodlezxx
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While I'm certain I'll love the scientific aspect of the course, and after going to open days etc I'd like to think I'd very much enjoy the clinical stuff too, I worry I'm not the right type of person to become a doctor. I am quite shy and awkward which is obviously not good in a profession where you have to communicate all the time. Sometimes I think that maybe uni will bring me out of my shell but I'm not sure. Some people say they could imagine me in that sort of profession whereas others say that they couldn't and I'd imagine its because of my shyness. I'm not too bad, but I'm not very confident. It is a job that I would absolutely love to do but fear I am not the type of person unis are looking for.

I have been trying to increase my confidence but I'm not sure that it is working. I will apply for head girl and If I get chosen, hopefully I will become less shy. I know that communication skills and confidence are imperative for the role of a doctor so this is worrying me.

In terms of interviews, this presents a problem too as when nervous I am even more shy and struggle to formulate my thoughts. Do you think It's worth me trying for this - will I be able to overcome my awkwardness? Or am I frankly just not the type of person that is ideal for this profession. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Also any tips on how to become less shy would be very much appreciated too
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Democracy
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(Original post by xxNoodlezxx)
While I'm certain I'll love the scientific aspect of the course, and after going to open days etc I'd like to think I'd very much enjoy the clinical stuff too, I worry I'm not the right type of person to become a doctor. I am quite shy and awkward which is obviously not good in a profession where you have to communicate all the time. Sometimes I think that maybe uni will bring me out of my shell but I'm not sure. Some people say they could imagine me in that sort of profession whereas others say that they couldn't and I'd imagine its because of my shyness. I'm not too bad, but I'm not very confident. It is a job that I would absolutely love to do but fear I am not the type of person unis are looking for.

I have been trying to increase my confidence but I'm not sure that it is working. I will apply for head girl and If I get chosen, hopefully I will become less shy. I know that communication skills and confidence are imperative for the role of a doctor so this is worrying me.

In terms of interviews, this presents a problem too as when nervous I am even more shy and struggle to formulate my thoughts. Do you think It's worth me trying for this - will I be able to overcome my awkwardness? Or am I frankly just not the type of person that is ideal for this profession. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Also any tips on how to become less shy would be very much appreciated too
Communication as a doctor is a specific skill set - that's why it's formally taught at medical school and why you have five years to learn it. Some people have more of a natural flair for it than others, but that's true of any skill.

Being a good communicator as a doctor doesn't mean the same thing as being extroverted or outgoing, and becoming confident at talking to patients, relatives, other staff members etc is something which takes time and experience.

In a similar way, how you communicate in interviews is something that can be worked on and improved - you can read books, attend mock interviews and so on.

I wouldn't let any of this put you off if medicine is what you want to do. If you're polite, clear, and honest in how you communicate you'll be okay.
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ihatePE
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Have you ever in the past noticed that you've changed? any turning points to make you become different or evolve as a person? if you can think of an event like that then this would be no different. The course and career path will change you, you will crack out of the shell when you're forced into pressurised situations and determined to work towards being a doctor. like you cant imagine it now, but having the experience is different if u get me. I never thought I was able to drive cos being a passenger and looking out the front window of the car, it looks too complicated, I was so confused about perception cos it looks like the whole car is spreading into 2 lanes. but when I got to drive myself its so easy. just saying we're young now but we all age and improve ourselves. just like when ur doing gcses and found it hard, now doing A levels and looking back its so much easier in comparison
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by Democracy)
Communication as a doctor is a specific skill set - that's why it's formally taught at medical school and why you have five years to learn it. Some people have more of a natural flair for it than others, but that's true of any skill.

Being a good communicator as a doctor doesn't mean the same thing as being extroverted or outgoing, and becoming confident at talking to patients, relatives, other staff members etc is something which takes time and experience.

In a similar way, how you communicate in interviews is something that can be worked on and improved - you can read books, attend mock interviews and so on.

I wouldn't let any of this put you off if medicine is what you want to do. If you're polite, clear, and honest in how you communicate you'll be okay.
Thank you so much! I appreciate the response I shall work hard to improve my confidence. I have seen courses (e.g. the ISC medical one) for med interview practice. These are quite expensive, but would you say they are worth it?
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by ihatePE)
Have you ever in the past noticed that you've changed? any turning points to make you become different or evolve as a person? if you can think of an event like that then this would be no different. The course and career path will change you, you will crack out of the shell when you're forced into pressurised situations and determined to work towards being a doctor. like you cant imagine it now, but having the experience is different if u get me. I never thought I was able to drive cos being a passenger and looking out the front window of the car, it looks too complicated, I was so confused about perception cos it looks like the whole car is spreading into 2 lanes. but when I got to drive myself its so easy. just saying we're young now but we all age and improve ourselves. just like when ur doing gcses and found it hard, now doing A levels and looking back its so much easier in comparison
Thanks for the response! I like the analogy used! I suck at driving and will take a very long time to pass though haha In all seriousness, thank you for the help. I am definitely going to pursue medicine.
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Democracy
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(Original post by xxNoodlezxx)
Thank you so much! I appreciate the response I shall work hard to improve my confidence. I have seen courses (e.g. the ISC medical one) for med interview practice. These are quite expensive, but would you say they are worth it?
£175 is a lot of money - I think buying the ISC interview book and using it to organise mock interviews with friends and fellow applicants can be just as effective.
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by Democracy)
£175 is a lot of money - I think buying the ISC interview book and using it to organise mock interviews with friends and fellow applicants can be just as effective.
Ahh okay, thank you
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Kevin70
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Medicine is the best option for everyone but it is hard and expensive
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by Kevin70)
Medicine is the best option for everyone but it is hard and expensive
haha true
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clouddbubbles
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(Original post by xxNoodlezxx)
While I'm certain I'll love the scientific aspect of the course, and after going to open days etc I'd like to think I'd very much enjoy the clinical stuff too, I worry I'm not the right type of person to become a doctor. I am quite shy and awkward which is obviously not good in a profession where you have to communicate all the time. Sometimes I think that maybe uni will bring me out of my shell but I'm not sure. Some people say they could imagine me in that sort of profession whereas others say that they couldn't and I'd imagine its because of my shyness. I'm not too bad, but I'm not very confident. It is a job that I would absolutely love to do but fear I am not the type of person unis are looking for.

I have been trying to increase my confidence but I'm not sure that it is working. I will apply for head girl and If I get chosen, hopefully I will become less shy. I know that communication skills and confidence are imperative for the role of a doctor so this is worrying me.

In terms of interviews, this presents a problem too as when nervous I am even more shy and struggle to formulate my thoughts. Do you think It's worth me trying for this - will I be able to overcome my awkwardness? Or am I frankly just not the type of person that is ideal for this profession. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Also any tips on how to become less shy would be very much appreciated too
just like to let you know that i feel the exact same! medicine as a subject massively fascinates me but i’m not sure about the clinical side yet :dontknow:

i’ve been considering medical research or like biomedical sciences or something but yeah, i’m not sure yet
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by clouddbubbles)
just like to let you know that i feel the exact same! medicine as a subject massively fascinates me but i’m not sure about the clinical side yet :dontknow:

i’ve been considering medical research or like biomedical sciences or something but yeah, i’m not sure yet
Same here! For the longest time I just thought I was going to do biomed or biochem at university. But while the facts and knowledge learned in those degrees interest me, I'm not keen on the job prospects - e.g working in the NHS labs. I feel lab work would get monotonous pretty quickly. I'm not entirely sure I'll enjoy the clinical side of medicine though. From what I've seen on open days, it looks interesting. I like the job prospects that come from a medical degree, I feel like it would be a lot more thrilling and fulfilling for me than doing lab work.
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Kevin70
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A friend of mine became a dentist a few years ago and later became a periodonthist. He is currently making around half a million pounds a year. Rarely does any non-medical subject yields such a princely salary.
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Democracy
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(Original post by Kevin70)
Medicine is the best option for everyone but it is hard and expensive
Lol, it really isn't.
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AsalaR
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Fake it til you make it.
That's how everyone does it.
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MezmorisedPotato
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(Original post by Kevin70)
Medicine is the best option for everyone but it is hard and expensive
Don't think that's how it works. Medicine in a lot of cases probably isn't the right course for people.


However, if communication skills is one thing you're concerned about and the only factor affecting your choice to pursue medicine, then I wouldn't be too concerned.

One way which naturally improves communication skills which helped me a whole lot before applying for is volunteering. Even though I am a social person, I had issues when facing new environments which may be unfamiliar eg a hospice or a hospital. After doing volunteering for a few months, I already saw that I am much more comfortable communicating in new situations without much worries about what it's like.

If you're considering applying for medicine, I have no doubt you already have done/planned some volunteering placements. If so, how are they going for you? I'd really recommend doing some volunteering in the summer holidays if you have the time.

Also another thing to note is that you'll have a chance to hone communication skills at university itself as it's an integral part of being a doctor. You'll find that after you ease yourself into medical school, you may find a lot of your worries about shyness may go away as you complete hospital placements and work with peers.

It is natural to feel stressed and timid when entering new circumstances. But it's an extremely rewarding experience. This is especially the case in medicine as once you overcome those fears because you've overcome a small barrier to a thoroughly enjoyable profession. If you believe you enjoy the other aspects of the course, I would advise you to not let that be an obstacle to applying because being successful in medicine involves showing an active interest in the subject as awhole. It is very holistic.

Good luck with your applications, have a good think about your choices and I hope you still continue to go for it!
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lovescience2002
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(Original post by xxNoodlezxx)
While I'm certain I'll love the scientific aspect of the course, and after going to open days etc I'd like to think I'd very much enjoy the clinical stuff too, I worry I'm not the right type of person to become a doctor. I am quite shy and awkward which is obviously not good in a profession where you have to communicate all the time. Sometimes I think that maybe uni will bring me out of my shell but I'm not sure. Some people say they could imagine me in that sort of profession whereas others say that they couldn't and I'd imagine its because of my shyness. I'm not too bad, but I'm not very confident. It is a job that I would absolutely love to do but fear I am not the type of person unis are looking for.

I have been trying to increase my confidence but I'm not sure that it is working. I will apply for head girl and If I get chosen, hopefully I will become less shy. I know that communication skills and confidence are imperative for the role of a doctor so this is worrying me.

In terms of interviews, this presents a problem too as when nervous I am even more shy and struggle to formulate my thoughts. Do you think It's worth me trying for this - will I be able to overcome my awkwardness? Or am I frankly just not the type of person that is ideal for this profession. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Also any tips on how to become less shy would be very much appreciated too
Don’t worry too much about it, my dad is very shy and awkward but is now quite high up in his hospital, you’ll get used to it and learn how to communicate better along the way
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by MezmorisedPotato)
Don't think that's how it works. Medicine in a lot of cases probably isn't the right course for people.


However, if communication skills is one thing you're concerned about and the only factor affecting your choice to pursue medicine, then I wouldn't be too concerned.

One way which naturally improves communication skills which helped me a whole lot before applying for is volunteering. Even though I am a social person, I had issues when facing new environments which may be unfamiliar eg a hospice or a hospital. After doing volunteering for a few months, I already saw that I am much more comfortable communicating in new situations without much worries about what it's like.

If you're considering applying for medicine, I have no doubt you already have done/planned some volunteering placements. If so, how are they going for you? I'd really recommend doing some volunteering in the summer holidays if you have the time.

Also another thing to note is that you'll have a chance to hone communication skills at university itself as it's an integral part of being a doctor. You'll find that after you ease yourself into medical school, you may find a lot of your worries about shyness may go away as you complete hospital placements and work with peers.

It is natural to feel stressed and timid when entering new circumstances. But it's an extremely rewarding experience. This is especially the case in medicine as once you overcome those fears because you've overcome a small barrier to a thoroughly enjoyable profession. If you believe you enjoy the other aspects of the course, I would advise you to not let that be an obstacle to applying because being successful in medicine involves showing an active interest in the subject as awhole. It is very holistic.

Good luck with your applications, have a good think about your choices and I hope you still continue to go for it!
Thank you so much for the great advice!! I have only quite recently (about a month ago) been seriously considering medicine over biomed - terrible ik! But I have had a meeting with my local carehome and I'm sorting the paperwork so shall be beginning to volunteer there soon. I'm very lucky to have got a week placement at a GP, a week at a pharmacy and a week at a hospital planned now too so I'm going to have a very busy 6 weeks holiday . It's my own fault for not considering my options earlier though. Ive always just thought I'll do something science-y at uni and never really considered anything else but as I'm reaching the end of year 12, I've given much more thought to it. I'm slightly worried though because don't unis like to see long term volunteering? by the time applications have to be in, I'll only have 3 or 4 months done then about 6 for interview - is this something that will hinder my chances?

With some friends and family who I know that've gone to uni, they've seemed to come out of their shell & as you say - I'll have a chance to improve my communication skills there hopefully.

I did make a personal pro con list for studying medicine about a month ago, and upon going to open days and doing lots of research, a lot of the cons don't seem like an issue anymore. I had things on there like my poor communication skills being an issue, but after this thread - I feel more optimistic. I also had things like its long and stressful, but I believe that it is definitely worth it and shall be extremely rewarding if I'm successful. But I also put on there that 60% of people get rejected from all 4 choices which is really worrying me. It is imperative that I have a detailed backup plan in case this happens. I'd feel like I'd take a gap yera and do lots of work and volunteering rather than take my 5th option, but I really don't know. Also the UKCAT is stressing me out too haha.

Sorry for the essay
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xxNoodlezxx
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(Original post by Princessalfie)
Don’t worry too much about it, my dad is very shy and awkward but is now quite high up in his hospital, you’ll get used to it and learn how to communicate better along the way
Thank you so much, that is very reassuring to hear!
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Kevin70
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Problem with medicine is it is not only a very hard and expensive subject to study but also in order to enter medical school you need to be almost perfect in science and maths and with a high IQ. The title of Doctor is not easy to gain at all! However, not everyone is a genius or can afford the high tuition fees of going to medical school in that case they can try to justify other subjects but then again it is important that they consider the job market reality before they embark on any course. Most postgraduate degrees in other subjects do not yield more than 25-30 K per annum which is hand to mouth living in this time and age of economic crisis.
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MezmorisedPotato
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(Original post by xxNoodlezxx)
Thank you so much for the great advice!! I have only quite recently (about a month ago) been seriously considering medicine over biomed - terrible ik! But I have had a meeting with my local carehome and I'm sorting the paperwork so shall be beginning to volunteer there soon. I'm very lucky to have got a week placement at a GP, a week at a pharmacy and a week at a hospital planned now too so I'm going to have a very busy 6 weeks holiday . It's my own fault for not considering my options earlier though. Ive always just thought I'll do something science-y at uni and never really considered anything else but as I'm reaching the end of year 12, I've given much more thought to it. I'm slightly worried though because don't unis like to see long term volunteering? by the time applications have to be in, I'll only have 3 or 4 months done then about 6 for interview - is this something that will hinder my chances?

With some friends and family who I know that've gone to uni, they've seemed to come out of their shell & as you say - I'll have a chance to improve my communication skills there hopefully.

I did make a personal pro con list for studying medicine about a month ago, and upon going to open days and doing lots of research, a lot of the cons don't seem like an issue anymore. I had things on there like my poor communication skills being an issue, but after this thread - I feel more optimistic. I also had things like its long and stressful, but I believe that it is definitely worth it and shall be extremely rewarding if I'm successful. But I also put on there that 60% of people get rejected from all 4 choices which is really worrying me. It is imperative that I have a detailed backup plan in case this happens. I'd feel like I'd take a gap yera and do lots of work and volunteering rather than take my 5th option, but I really don't know. Also the UKCAT is stressing me out too haha.

Sorry for the essay
It's good you've gained some placements, it'll definitely aid your application if you explain it correctly.

To answer all your questions, let me number them for each question.

1. Whilst for volunteering placements longer time shows committment, for medical school applications I believe around 4-6 months should suffice. Essentially however, it isn't about how long or how many you have. It's about what you have learned from each placement and your reflections from it. So no, I don't think it will hinder your application, you just have the explain your reflections in a unique way.

2. A lot rejections for medical school comes from not meeting the intital entry requirements hence they are rejected pre-interview. Once you enter the interview stage, provided you have prepared and done some further reading, you have a real shot at getting an offer. However this doesn't rule out the case where people are rejected after interview. But with the right preparation, you will be more than prepared to get at least one offer. Also apply strategically to your strengths to maximise the chances of getting an interview and then potentially an offer.

3. The UKCAT for me was one of the most stressful tests I have done. But that's not because of the difficulty of the questions, rather the strict timing. With practise using resources such as Medify and TMP, I found I improved a lot even though I initially found the experience daunting. My scores intially wasn't wonderful to say the least but by the time I done the test, I'm glad I obtained a decent score which enabled to get interviews from universities. If I hadn't gone on holiday two weeks before, I might have done a bit better too, who knows! 😂 But the key is to once again apply strategically and if by chance your UKCAT score isn't great, then apply to universities that don't weigh UKCAT heavily. You'll be surprised at how many there are!

It's really good you've done a pros and cons list, I think it'll help clear your mind of any problems you may think you have and help ease yourself. Just relax now holidays are coming up, try and start the volunteering you've mentioned and do some preparation for the UKCAT and I assure you everything will be alright!

Good luck!
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